You Are the Switchman
When "John Doe" finds a sore on his lip, he must commit to seeing a doctor. His decision is likened to the position of a railroad switchman who controls the movement of trains. The necessity of early cancer diagnosis and treatment is combined in this film with the medical profession's wish to intervene.
Film about cancer danger signals and how you should be on the lookout for them.
First there is a narrative about a father with a sore which won't heal on his lip. He refuses to go to the doctor until it's too late. We see his wife in black later on. There is a parallel narrative which is the success story of how the cancer was caught in time.(What is remarkable though, is that Dad is shown having his cigarette lit by his son in the opening sequence, and then when is cured of cancer, he sits with his wife happily smoking the pipe which undoubtedly gave him lip cancer in the first place. There is no mention of the role of tobacco.)
Treatment methods mentioned by narrator: X-ray; radium or surgery. Early detection is touted as the best hope of cure. Statistics of survival rates for skin, breast, "womb," and lip cancer are shown and the difference for early and delayed detection. Receding caboose in distance.
[shots listed below]
train whistle (audio only) Safety
Subject: Mid Century Cancer Film
Subject: So young
You young people are so judgmental and can't see the lesson here. In 1951 this was the way it was. Now look at the silly things thrown at you by the government, drug companies, Insurance, etc and you will find you are buying from the back of a medicine wagon also. Grow up and deal with the problems you cave men have now and learn from the past.
What a wonderful site this is for education, use it.
Subject: I wish
Subject: Yay, no more lip cancer! Well, back to my pipe..
But wait!! We see a parallel universe happen here as we see what would've happened if John went to the doctor! Yay! Early detection! Now the cancer is gone!
The GREATEST thing about this film is the curious smoking scenes, even after Dad is cured of lip cancer, smoking on his pipe. Heck, there are scenes of him blowing second hand smoke on his wife and kids.
Just what WAS the cancer society doing back then?
Subject: All warning signs except one.